We joyfully celebrate the culmination of the Easter season at Pentecost on May 27: the birthday of the Church.

The Holy Spirit’s descent upon those gathered in the Upper Room signaled a new mission. And their mission then was no different than ours is today.

We as a Church are in need of the continuous renewal Pentecost offers us every day. Pope Benedict referred to it in 2010 when he said in his message for Pentecost: “The Spirit triggers a process of reunification of the divided and dispersed parts of the human family.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Pentecost message to new Church movements in 1998, stressed renewal thus: “Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gracefully and obediently the charisms that the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us! Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church.”

And Church-wide renewal, a “new Pentecost,” was the goal of Pope John XXIII when he convened the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago in October. We’ll be featuring a series of stories commemorating the Council in the days leading up to the anniversary.

So, as we proceed from Pentecost into what the Church calls “Ordinary Time,” I pray that we take the Church’s call to daily renewal seriously — and make this time anything but ordinary.

God bless you!